Good Job, Eli

There.  I said it.

In a fascinating and wonderfully entertaining game, Eli Manning – yes, the same Eli Manning maligned here throughout this (and last) NFL season – lead his team into a frigid Lambeau Field where they defeated the Green Bay Packers 23-20 in overtime to win the NFC Championship.

Eli kept his cool while Brett Favre slipped a little too far into “gunslinger” mode — a tendency that has plagued his othewise great career.  Eli managed the team effectively and bolstered by a solid running game and a FANTASTIC game from Plaxico Burress finds himself on the game’s greatest stage.  For a team that started an ugly 0-2 and was this close to going into the abyss for the year, that’s quite an achievement.

On the AFC side, the Patriots continued their roll to history by beating the gimpy San Diego Chargers 21-12.  It felt like this game was over when after two good drives that got inside the 5-yard line, the Bolts had to settle for field goals rather than touchdowns.  That said, the Pats hardly looked invincible, with Tom Brady throwing 3 picks and the defense allowing Chargers (without LT, Gates and a hobbled Rivers) to move the ball pretty well.

Does that mean that the Patriots are ripe for an upset by the G-men?  Well, they’ve looked beat-able in the second half of the season (see Eagles' and Ravens' games in particular) and the Giants played them tough in the last week of the season (though the only thing that was at stake was the perfect record).  If Eli can keep his cool again, I foresee a game like the AFC Championship – close, maybe even potentially winnable, but ultimately a Pats victory.  If he retreats to “bad Eli” it could be ugly.

And here I am in another predicament.  The idea of the smug Patriots sealing the Greatest. Season. Ever. is just too hard to stomach and the schadenfreude of them going 19 AND 1 is too juicy not to want.  But can I actually bring myself to cheer for Eli and the Giants?

Yes I can.  Go Eli!  Go Giants!

There. I said it.

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13 thoughts on “Good Job, Eli

  1. LOL being in MA of course I'm supposed to root for the Pats, but the whole filming thing put me off. Plus I don't watch football even when hubby has it on.
    I DID watch the last game though, because of the below zero entertainment value. All I can say about that is, Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!
    My skin is turning purple just thinking about it.

  2. Steve – I am SO with you. Would've loved to have seen Favre go up against Brady….but New York played like they wanted it (unlike the Packers, IMO) and the possibility of a Patriots 19-1 is very very very appealing…what an upset that would be!

  3. I was really rooting for the Pack. Too bad. Now I don't know who to root for! I'll probably end up rooting for the Patriots since I lived in Boston. But ugh — so smug. Half the time I want to smack Tom Brady. And..I admit it. Sometimes I want to make out with him. He's just so darn pretty.
    In other news, because my poor 49ers did so badly this year, it looks like they are already mathmatically eliminated from the playoffs next year. ;)

  4. If, when the season started, some one would have told me that Manning would be in the Super Bowl, I would have agreed with that fairly obvious prediction. However if that person would have clarified and told me that it would be Eli and not Peyton, I would have never been able to believe it. But here we are, Eli in the Superbowl, and hasn't thrown a pick in 3 games.Do you think Peyton is sitting down with Eli and sharing every secret he has about beating the Pats?

  5. I don't follow the NFL too closely, with the exception of the Colts and the Giants. Why? Because I have followed the Mannings since their respective college careers and I love them both. What a game! And hey, I'll actually be watching the Super Bowl rather than just the commercials this year.

  6. I was actually cheering for the Packers too. They looked horrible all night. And the Giants looked great! I tell you, if their defense keeps up that incredible scrappiness we saw on Sunday, they could have a chance. And Eli looked pretty competent too. But here's the problem: if the Pats can look that bad and still beat the Chargers (who also looked pretty good), they'll be unstoppable if they step it up for the Super Bowl. (But on the other hand, maybe their cockiness will get the best of them….now that would be awesome.)

  7. Wow, I'm shocked! Going for the Giants? Lesser of two evils?
    Oh well – they did give the Pats a run for their money that last game so I think it's going to be an interesting SB but I'm still going for Brady and the Patriots.

  8. I so want them to be 19 and 1. The idea of *another* New England team winning a championship is too much to stomach. Blurgh. And then we can get to baseball! Yay!

  9. Wha??? BOOOO!!!
    I don't like either of the Mannings. Peyton seems constantly frustrated with his teammates, instead of being leaderly.
    And Eli? Well, he dissed San Diego, so he deserves to get beat by the team that beat the Chargers.
    I've never said the Pats are unbeatable, but I think their intangibles make them a great team.
    Oh, and "they're too good" just strikes me as a bad reason to hate a team. They're pushing the level of play up. They're getting more people to watch the sport. They're good for football.

  10. Hahahahah!!
    I actually think the Pats ARE good for football too. They've got star-power and personality. And I think that people give-a-damn whether they win or lose makes their games more compelling.

  11. This is going to be the equivalent, for me, of watching the Michigan/Ohio State game (my parents went to USC). I don't have a rooting interest. I suppose I'll root for the Giants because I can't stand the Patriots, and because if the Giants win, it will make life very uncomfortable for the Eagles owners and management. Which might persuade the to actually do something!

  12. UGH … Manning (either one) … Blech. I have to cheer on the Pats because 1) I live here; 2) Mannings winning two SBs in a row is just too awful to consider; and 3) as much as the rest of the country loves to hate them, fans here love for the rest of country to hate them. We've paid our dues in New England, with the Pats blowing everything until this century, the Yankees yanking our chains every stinkin' year before 2004, and the Celts basically not BEING a team since Bird retired … it sure is fun to be a sports fan around here the last few years.

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